Houston Cougars Rising Up More Than Just College Recruiting Rankings
Derick E. Hingle - USA TODAY Sports

Houston Cougars Rising Up More Than Just College Recruiting Rankings

The Houston Cougars put together an impressive recruiting class in 2016. The Cougars ranked first in the American Athletic Conference.

Collin Wieder

The Houston Cougars saw their football program make a gigantic leap forward in 2015. The Cougs compiled a 13-1 season, won the American Athletic Conference and pounded perennial powerhouse, Florida State, in the Peach Bowl.

One Of The Best Recruiting Classes In Houston's History

Head coach Tom Herman carried that momentum onto the recruiting trail. Herman nabbed one of the best recruiting classes in Houston's history. The Cougs ranked 40th out 128 FBS schools. The second-year head coach managed to also land the Cougars first five-star recruit in defensive tackle Ed Oliver. Oliver chose to stay in his hometown and become a Cougar, despite being the nation's sixth overall prospect. He should help a defense that returns just five starters for next season.

The rest of the class featured two four-star recruits and 15 three-star recruits. A name to watch for in that group is wide receiver, Courtney Lark. Lark should help replace Demarcus Ayers. Ayers will be a tough act to follow after catching 97 passes for 1,221 yards and six touchdowns in 2015. However, it will help Lark to have senior quarterback Greg Ward Jr. back. Ward proved to be one of the most dangerous players in college football in 2015. Ward compiled 3,941 total yards of offense and 38 total touchdowns.

Houston Gains Big Transfer

Houston didn't just land big high school recruits. They landed one of the biggest transfers of the year in former Texas A&M quarterback Kyle Allen. Allen left Aggieland after two tumultuous seasons where he never quite got the starting job. He gained and lost it between Kenny Hill and Kyler Murray. Now, he looks to be the Cougars option at quarterback after Ward graduates.

Herman pulled off a recruiting coup landing this class. It could be the one that starts to land them power five conference interest. The school used to be right in the big school mix but fell out after the collapse of the Southwest Conference. Herman could be just what they need to get back at the forefront of college football.